Windows 10 Customization

1. Add applications or programs to the start menu and taskbar.

      For ease of access and to minimize clutter on your desktop, it can be helpful to add commonly used programs to the start menu and task bar.  In Windows 10, you can put shortcut icons on the start menu (they appear on the right hand side after clicking on Start on the bottom left on your desktop).  Programs can also be added to the taskbar, the black strip at the bottom of your screen.  The taskbar is a great place to place shortcuts for frequently used applications.

    A. On the bottom left, click Start

    B. Begin typing the first few characters of the program that you would like to appear in the Start Menu (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint). 

    C. When the program you want to add is displayed, hover your mouse over the top of the displayed program, right click and select "Pin to Start."  Added Start Menu items will appear as large icons on the right hand side when clicking on Start.  You can also click on the Start Menu and scroll down through the list of applications to add to the Start Menu or type in the "Search Windows" field to add a program to the Start Menu.

2. Customize Power Settings

      Power settings, such as adjusting when a laptop or computer monitor or hard drive go to sleep, can be changed to make a positive impact on power conservation and/or battery life.

To view or make adjustments to your power settings, go to Start>Settings>System>Power & sleep:   

Laptop and Desktop Suggested Settings:

      A. Screen

            On battery power (laptop only): Turn off after 10 minutes.

            When plugged in: Turn off in 1 hour.

      B. Sleep

           On battery power (laptop only): Laptop goes to sleep in 1 hour.

           When plugged in: Laptop goes to sleep in 8 hours.


  1. Sleep:  never for desktops when plugged in, 2hrs for laptops when plugged in, 30 mins for laptops on battery
  2. Wi-Fi settings for Laptops (VERY IMPORTANT to preserve battery)
    1. UnCheck/disable - "On battery, stay connected to Wi-Fi while asleep"
  3. On Screen Keyboard icon in system tray
    1. Right click taskbar>Show touch keyboard button


NOTE:  On touch-enabled devices it is handy to enable the touch keyboard icon in system tray.  Legacy applications won't automatically load the on screen keyboard.  This setting is not in the Settings screen as one might expect.

  1. Notifications:
    1. Start>Settings>System>Notifications & actions>Turn them all off except maybe the "Get tips and suggestions as you use Windows
    2. Outlook 2016 and OWA ( each have their own notification settings
      1. Outlook>File>Options>Mail>Message Arrival section
      2. OWA>Settings>Mail>Message options

NOTE: OWA Settings are per account, and Outlook settings are per computer.

  1. Enable Windows Hello for Business (biometric sign in)
    1. Start>Settings>Accounts>Sign-in options
    2. Enable Windows Hello if device is supported (I.E. Microsoft Surface Pro 4 or newer)
  2. Application default settings
    1. Firefox search engine set to Yahoo - Change to Google
      1. Firefox>Settings>Search>Default search engine
  3. Set background image
    1. Start>Settings>Personalization>Background